Simply stewardship

Column: Stewardship conference offers chance to grow deeper

by Lesle Knop

A rumbling truck deposited its load of dirt on a hill near our house early this morning. Into this rich, black “pulverized” soil my husband and I plan to dig a few holes for trees.

We’ll scatter some seed and hope that grass will grow to transform the rocky terrain into a soft lawn.

Good drainage and fertile ground is important, but that’s not all we’ll need. We’ll need sunshine and gentle rain. Fertilizer, too; so we’ll add manure. I dump potato peelings and coffee grounds into a compost box. When the scraps turn into nutrient rich dirt, I’ll add it to the mix.

The pile of dirt awaiting our shovels and aching backs reminded me that Jesus gave us a parable about seed that contains important instructions (Mt 13: 1-9; 18-23). In the parable, the word of God is like seed. Some of it falls in places where it will not grow. Like the seed that is scattered on fertile ground, the word of God will grow in us if we are open to God, who has been revealed in written word, the Scriptures. The Word of God is Jesus, and we come to know him through Scripture, where we learn through his actions and words.

Later this month, the Region IX Stewardship Conference, entitled “Grow Deeper,” will be held at Savior Pastoral Center here in our archdiocese. On March 26 and 27, you can “get fertilized” with an inspirational keynote address by Bishop Michael Jackels, from the Diocese of Wichita , and Dan Conway, an author of many significant books on stewardship.

Organized by leaders from dioceses in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska, the conference is offered every two years. This year, the conference fee is only $90. Overnight attendees may stay at Savior Pastoral Center or at two hotels located at nearby Village West.

Masses will be offered both days. Workshop topics include: Parish Pastoral Planning; The Stewardship Committee; The Eucharist: the Heart of Stewardship; Stewardship Among Generation Wh(y); Storytelling in Postmodern Fundraising; and Stewardship with Hispanics.

A brochure is available at the archdiocesan Web site: www.archkck.org. I encourage you and other members of your parish to attend. It will help you “grow deeper” in your faith and understanding of stewardship. Consider it like a load of black dirt dumped on your garden. Dig in.

“They are like a tree planted near streams of water that yields its fruit in season. Its leaves never wither; whatever they do prospers” (Ps 1:13).

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Lesle Knop

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